Have you ever heard the phrase “aim small miss small? ” What you’re about to read is one of the absolute best putting drills out there. There’s no better way to hone your skills and tap into a heightened sense of direction and proximity than by focusing on a target that is WAY smaller than the actual target itself. The mind is an accommodating mechanism. It wants to send all the proper signals to the muscle fibers in the body to accomplish what exactly what you’re thinking, whether that’s positive OR negative.
Don’t believe me? Try this exercise:
Don’t picture an elephant in your mind.
Were you able to fight off the urge?
The “don’t” part typically has no effect on blocking out the unwanted. It’s the same deal when you’re standing on the tee box and you think “don’t hit in the hazard,” or on the putting green standing over an important putt thinking “don’t miss.” The mind grasps onto the power words of “hazard” and “miss” (or elephant!) and tries to accomplish. Usually this leads to visualization. Tour pros are exceptional at positive thinking and thus, positive visualization, which generally translates to positive execution.
Unless you’re a robot, you’re prone to error. There is no perfection with physical activity (even though we all seek it!) And although some may be better than others, we can certainly work to improve on this skill set of setting the mind up to create the proper move with the muscles to accomplish what you want it to.
It starts with being as SPECIFIC and POSITIVE as possible.
Next time you’re practicing your putting, don’t just focus on the target as a whole. Focus on something much smaller. Tell yourself you’re going to roll the ball into that spot.
Practicing inside? Take the lid from a large peanut butter jar and draw a small dot on the edge with a sharpie. Start from 3 feet away with 3 golf balls. Roll all three into the dot. If you miss, start over. If you succeed, move back a foot and repeat.
Practicing outside? For uphill putts, focus on a piece of dirt lodged against the back of the cup wall that’s no bigger than the size of the dimple on your golf ball. For downhill putts, focus on a small leaf blade that’s overhanging the front or the side of the cup (depending on where you see the ball entering).
For a putting drill with real time feedback, stick a tee into the turf at the edge of the cup where you see the ball entering. Then, focus on rolling the ball into the tee and judge your success based on whether or not the ball hit the tee.
Want to get it right from the start?
Focus on a spot just a few inches in front of the ball and think about rolling the ball over that spot. If you can start the ball on line, you’re going to make a lot more putts! Check out the tool that pinpoints your actual aim HERE. P.S. we’ve got a big holiday sale going til 12/24!
Combine the two methods above, and you’ll be on your way to putting like a champion. By focusing on a target that is much smaller than the actual, we heighten our senses and train our eyes and brain to accommodate and seek out the desired result, while allowing MORE room for error.
If you’re still hesitant, read this piece written by Dave Stockton.
Until next time,